DONINGTON PARK PREVIEW: Simmons sets sights on Ford’s Triple Crown

25 APRIL, 2018 – How do you follow up your best weekend in motorsport? That’s the question facing championship leader Ayrton Simmons after a stellar start to the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. The JHR Developments driver arrives at Donington Park with a 19 point lead courtesy of a brace of victories and a second place finish at Brands Hatch.

Simmons will try to go one better by winning all three races to bag the £10,000 Ford Triple Crown Award and given his form, who would put it past him? However, don’t expect the Epping racer to have things all his own way. There’s little to choose between Ford’s rising stars.

Sebastian Priaulx claimed his maiden single-seater win in only his second race in the series and is now gunning for more. Meanwhile, his Arden teammates Patrik Pasma, Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan will be in the hunt for wins in their quest for the title. Hauger and Doohan starred on the overall podium three weeks ago and are tied on points at the top of the Rookie standings, having each taken a Rookie class win.

Paavo Tonteri is snapping at their heels in the chase for the Rookie Cup. He signed off his debut weekend with an overall podium, as well as a win in the class. The Infinity Sports Management backed youngster looks to have carried that momentum to Donington Park, having topped official testing at the circuit on Monday. Elsewhere, team-mate Sebastian Alvarez will aim to get his first points on the board.

The Double R trio is completed by Kiern Jewiss. He lies third in the standings just a point adrift of second place man Priaulx. Jewiss’ pre-season pace promised much and he unquestionably delivered at Brands Hatch, doubling up with second place finishes and also a fourth. Fastest in the morning in the official test at Donington Park and second overall suggests he’s all set to continue to deliver this weekend.

Hampus Ericsson had an opening weekend to forget. He returns to where he made his debut in the series and burst onto the single-seater scene with some sublime overtakes. Expect plenty more bold moves with the Fortec ace having a point to prove.

Team-mate Johnathan Hoggard will be another major player. Victory would have been his in the second race of the season, but for a false start which saw him hit with a 10 second time penalty. Lucca Allen made a brilliant start to life as a Fortec driver, achieving his best finish in eighth. He’ll look to build on that.

Jamie Sharp bounced back from a difficult qualifying to bring home points for Sharp Motorsport at Brands Hatch. This weekend’s target will be to qualify higher up the grid to ensure he’s in the points-paying positions from the outset.

Josh Skelton caught the eye on his single-seater debut. A pair of Rookie class podiums and fifth place finish overall means he arrives as one to watch. Meanwhile, JHR team-mate Manuel Sulaiman’s start to the season faltered after a top 10 finish. The Mexican will want to turn things around at Donington.